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Charleston Legal Blog

Are you a drowsy driver? You may be and not realize it

As many parents learn as they raise their children, when a child says that he or she isn't tired, it's probably naptime or bedtime. Children's protestations of not needing to sleep may echo in the minds of many of their parents as they struggle to get through the day because, for whatever reason, they suffer from a lack of sleep.

Many people these days suffer from a chronic lack of sleep, and you may be one of them. If you get behind the wheel of your car while tired, you put yourself and everyone else at risk. With all of the media attention going to drunk driving and texting while driving, this important impairment doesn't get the attention it deserves.

Truck companies should haul freight, not push you around in court

There's a lot happening in and around Charleston and Kanawha County. Local industry enriches the region, largely because of the abundant supplies of natural resources like coal and lumber. The infrastructure is ideally set up with the railroad, waterway and three Interstate highways all coming together in the area. Small wonder there is so much bustle in the community.

The surest way to tell business is booming is the number of trucks moving in and out of the city and the surrounding area. Tractor-trailers haul all manner of raw materials out of the region, and finished goods back to our stores. Unfortunately, where there are commercial trucks, accidents will happen with private vehicles.

In an accident, injury symptoms are not always immediate

A serious injury can put a strain on your every-day life. You may not notice how easy it can be to take your health for granted, until you are involved in a collision. Even a minor accident can have a devastating effect on your health.

You may have walked away from a collision feeling lucky, only to wake up the next day and feel as though the event just took place. You will find that in some injuries, symptoms may take time to manifest.

Changing laws to prevent drowsy truck drivers

A traffic accident, even with minor injuries, can instantly bring your day to a halt. You cancel your plans to deal with the inconvenience of X-rays, car repairs and insurance issues, and it may be days before things begin to seem normal again.

4 things you may not know you should do after an accident

There are a lot of important steps you should take after getting into a car accident. Many people know that they should exchange insurance information with the other driver, which is indeed crucial. This is not the only important thing to remember after a car accident though.

In addition to exchanging information with the driver and calling 911, here are some actions to take that you may not know you should do.

Should overweight truck drivers face additional scrutiny?

One of the biggest causes of trucking accidents in West Virginia and across the U.S. is driver fatigue. Because of this, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is moving forward with new regulations meant to reduce sleep apnea in drivers, which can lead to deadly trucking accidents.

The proposed regulations will require truck drivers who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher to only receive a 90-day medical certification for driving. During that time, the driver will have to undergo mandatory sleep apnea screening before they can get back behind the wheel. 

What causes tragic truck accidents?

Big rigs are huge, powerful vehicles. When they collide with smaller vehicles, the damage caused to other drivers, passengers and vehicles is usually catastrophic. What causes these accidents?

According to a recent news report from, a terrible accident occurred just this past Friday in the north part of West Virginia. A truck swerved across the median and struck a mini-van headed south, killing two high school students and a mother of three on the way to the Festival of Life Christian outreach event in Clarksville. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families.

Obtain compensation without suing your neighbor

After serious car accidents, accident victims have a number of concerns. Not the least of these concerns involves who is the defendant in a car accident personal injury lawsuit. Like most of the good people of West Virginia, you probably can't imagine suing someone in your neighborhood, especially someone you might know or care about.

Who Are You Suing?

The important thing to remember, though, is that the defendant in a personal injury claim of this kind is not the primary target. More often than not, it is the insurance company and the defendant's attorney who handle most of the negotiations. Further, an experienced auto accident attorney can handle your case in a way that is sensitive to the relationships you want to maintain.

What to say (and what not to say) to the insurance adjuster after an accident

After auto accidents, that's when insurance adjusters are the busiest. If you have been in an accident, you can be sure an insurance company agent will be contacting you. For many accident victims, this call is a sign that someone cares, and it comes as a welcome opportunity to share their experiences. The settlement offer that comes from the insurance company might also seem encouraging, but it is important to handle this relationship carefully.

After an accident, it is extremely important to talk with an experienced attorney before talking to the insurance company agents. Few people are aware of how much is at stake. If you simply answer all the insurance adjuster's questions, offer an official statement and accept the insurance company's settlement offer, you are most likely leaving significant compensation on the table. Continue reading to learn how to handle the insurance company negotiations.

Take me home, country roads... but will they get you there safely?

John Denver's song, "Take Me Home, Country Roads" is a soulful melody about West Virginia. The lyrics evoke a deep sense of longing to return back home to "her," describing single-lane rural roads that wind through the beautiful and diverse landscape.

However, the roads described in the song are not what they seem. Winding country roads may be picturesque, but they can also be very dangerous.

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